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Guaido violates Venezuelan constitution — Russian senator

On January 23, Venezuelan National Assembly Speaker Juan Guaido declared himself the country's acting president
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido  AP Photo/Fernando Llano
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido
© AP Photo/Fernando Llano

MOSCOW, January 24. /TASS/. Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido has violated the country’s constitution by declaring himself interim president, Russian Federation Council (the upper house of parliament) Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Konstantin Kosachev wrote on Facebook on Thursday.

"There are all signs of a state coup in Venezuela. Claims can be made against both opposing sides but declaring oneself president cannot be considered as a constitutional move in any country," he said. "The experience we gained in a similar situation in 1993 shows that confrontation between the branches of government leads to no good and launching talks between the parties is the only way out for Venezuela," the Russian senator added.

However, according to him, "the situation in Venezuela is far from normal because the external factor is playing a very important role." "The assessment of this factor, that is, the West’s response, makes it clear that a well-tested model is being used," Kosachev noted.

He said the response of the United States and other western countries was unlawful and immoral. In particular, the Russian senator stressed that US Vice President Michael Pence had posted a video address on social media one day before protests erupted in Venezuela, calling the country’s incumbent president a dictator with no legitimate claim to power."

"Western politicians claim to serve as the voice of the Venezuelan people. For instance, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said on January 23 that the people of Venezuela demanded democracy and a chance to freely decide their future, while European Council President Donald Tusk said that ‘unlike Maduro, the parliamentary assembly, including Juan Guaido, have a democratic mandate from Venezuelan citizens’," Kosachev noted.


Fomenting unrest


According to the Russian senator, such statements are nothing but attempts to foment unrest.

"As they say, this is all you wanted to know about a classic way to interfere in the affairs of sovereign states and the world order based on law and rules that the West has been promoting. It is as if they are saying: ‘Only we have the power to rule the world, we will decide what people want and which government to consider legitimate," the Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee chairman concluded.


Situation in Venezuela


On January 23, large-scale anti-government protests took place in Venezuela. In some of the country’s regions, opposition-led activities resulted in clashes between protesters and security forces, which led to casualties. According to the Pitazo news outlet, at least 16 protesters were killed.

Venezuelan parliament speaker and opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president at a rally in the country’s capital of Caracas on Wednesday. Several countries, including the United States, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Paraguay, have recognized him. Maduro, in turn, slammed the move as a coup staged by Washington and said he was breaking diplomatic relations with the US.